Sebastian Vettel bags his fourth pole position of the season; Max Verstappen grabs P3 start ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel: “Pole position is always important and for Scuderia Ferrari this track and this country means a lot, as this is the place where Gilles Villeneuve came from. That’s why I am very happy to have qualified on pole. It’s a great result for all the team, but I think I could have been even faster. I was quite happy with my first run in Q3 but I knew there was something more in the car for the first part of the lap. So I tried it all but I wasn’t sure until the end if it was enough. We have definitely improved since yesterday, I was very happy with the car today . Choosing the Ultrasofts for the start of the race was a pretty straightforward decision for us, now we have to do our best on Sunday!”
Kimi Raikkonen: “On my last try in Q3, I suddenly had a lot of understeer entering Turn 2, I struggled to turn the car round. At that point I had no choice but to try and get out of it as quickly as possible , but obviously I was off the line and my lap finished there. What happened was a bit odd, my car had been working well all day. I’m sure there was more to come today, and the end result is not what we were looking for. Tomorrow is a different day though, we’ll see what happens. For sure it will be tricky, with different tires on different cars in the front. It’s difficult to have a clear picture of how it will pan out, but we believe we made the right choice for the start of the race.”
Valtteri Bottas: “Qualifying wise, obviously it was close with Ferrari, it’s always annoying when it’s so close and you’re not ahead. Anyway, I’m starting from the front row, it’s good for the race and I’m happy. Obviously everything with the new engines, the numbers we have, they are just theory, but there would have been gains and I think it would have been a closer fight for pole position with that engine. We’ll get it later, anyway, so it’s all good. I felt I got almost everything out of the car on the first run. But I knew that, yes, there were still places where I could improve, but I had some understeer on the second run, I don’t know for what reason, but I don’t think we missed any positions in the second run. Today was the first time we used the Hypersofts and we made progress throughout the runs, all the way preparing to do Q3 with it. Like Ferrari we’re starting the race with the Ultrasoft tyres, so let’s see what we can do with them.”
Lewis Hamilton: “I don’t think today’s performance has got anything to do with the older engine. Sebastian simply did a better job when it counted in Q3. Just today it didn’t come together. I don’t think it was anything to do with the engine. My laps weren’t good and it just didn’t quite come together for me. It didn’t really develop, it didn’t get much quicker and it was just a difficult session. In practice things looked good and I think I could have been quickest in FP3. But in qualifying I couldn’t quite hit the potential we had shown. Our race pace was quite good yesterday. I think our single lap pace looked quite good as well. I think it could be tricky to overtake tomorrow. I haven’t really looked into it to be honest. I think it was all quite close between us but they did a better job today, and that’s the way it is. Sure, it’ll be tough to win from fourth here, but nothing is impossible. I’ll dig deep tonight. My focus now is on tomorrow.”
Max Verstappen: “I’m very happy with this weekend so far. The car has been working really well and we know in Qualifying we are missing top speed. To be third is great for us and I think in the race we can do a really good job. I think we have the pace to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes. Starting on the softer tyre is a benefit as it’s quite slippery on track and in the race I think we’ll be competitive.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “In the end, sixth is not that satisfying on paper, but I feel in qualifying we made a lot of progress. We struggled for rhythm yesterday and even this morning. I felt we were always one step back. I felt the laps I did were worth more than sixth place, but in the end, they weren’t. With what we had, I feel I did a not bad job. We’ve opted to start on hypersofts tomorrow because we feel we can manage it a bit better. We always thought pole would be a long shot. We felt we would have cars to overtake and felt hypers would give us a chance to do that.”